Have you ever heard that your posture goes a long way to shape your body?
Sitting, standing and lying down are activities we do every day. Since we cannot do without them, it is important to do them in the right way.
In the previous article, sitting postures were addressed, Read about it here.
Now that sitting for a long period of time is the new smoking, taking breaks while working by standing and walking around is recommended.
Assuming the right standing posture requires using your muscles in the least stressful manner else, muscular pains and spinal abnormalities may develop over time.
In this article, we address good tips on standing postures, the bad to avoid and the ugly effects of maintaining bad standing postures.
Standing with good posture makes the joints and muscles healthy, looks and feels good and aids blood circulation.
It also helps to maintain a good body stature.
Bad standing posture develops without you knowing it until the body aches sets in.
You need to be conscious of the manner by which you stand because gravity (a force that ensure you’re not floating) if not properly co-ordinated, can affect your spine, especially when fatigue occurs.
The following are recommended tips to standing the right way:
- Stand tall with your knees apart.
- Bear your weight on the balls of your knees.
- Ensure your arms hang down naturally on both sides of your body.
- Ensure your shoulders are pulled backwards.
- Your earlobes should be in alignment with the middle of your shoulders.
- Avoid pushing your waist and chest forward.
- Shift your weight from your toes to your heels.
- If you are carrying a child on your hip, ensure the weight is distributed to both legs and not just one.
- Always wear comfortable shoes.
Let’s take a look at some examples of bad standing postures, their ugly effect and how they can be corrected.
- Sticking your Bottom out
People who have excessive weight especially around the stomach (belly fat or in pregnancy) and ladies who wear high heels tend to maintain this bad posture.
Effect; It causes back aches and puts your spine out of the natural position and may lead to a Hyperlordosis, a spinal abnormality. Read about it here.
Correction; You need to make a conscious effort to stand tall at all times and doing thigh stretches.
2. Standing with a Flat back
This happens to people who sit for a long period of time as they tend to lean their necks forward.
Effect; Strains the back and neck causing pain.
Correction; You will need the services of a physical therapist as it involves physical therapy and exercises.
3. Standing with the Chest Out
Effect; This also displaces the spine from its normal curve causing back pain and spinal abnormalities.
Correction; Consciously correct your posture by standing upright with shoulders positioned backwards.
4. Leaning on one leg
This occurs when you carry heavy backpacks and babies on the hip.
Effect; Muscle imbalance will develop casing tension on the lower back leading to pain.
Correction; Stand with weight distributed on both legs.
5. Rounded shoulder
Also known as the “Mom Posture”, occurs when the shoulders are out of alignment with the spine.
Activities that leads to this posture includes sitting for long periods, driving a vehicle, using a laptop, computer or hand held devices like smartphones and carrying heavy objects most of the time.
Effect; It increases stress on the joints of the shoulder causing pain in the neck and upper back.
Correction; You may need to see a physical therapist or chiropractors to undergo some tests and determine the best line of treatment.
Poor standing postures take a while to change especially if it has developed over a long period of time compared to short lived ones, this is because your joints have adapted.
The first step to take to regain a normal standing posture is to take conscious efforts in following recommendations as mentioned above.
If you have a challenge developing and maintaining a good standing posture, please see a doctor.
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